12 Best Cystic Acne Treatments That Work Like A Charm – 2023

Unveil clear and flawless skin with products that work like a charm on cystic acne.

By Shiboli ChakrabortiShiboli Chakraborti, Certified Skin Care Coach  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

Cystic acne is the most painful and pus-filled acne that usually occurs with clogged pores. It affects the deeper skin layers and is tough to treat. But the best cystic acne treatments can come in handy if you want to try some OTC treatments at home before going to a dermatologist.

Cystic acne can also spread if it pops. It is the most severe form among all the acne types. But it can be difficult to find the best product to remedy cystic acne. So, for your convenience, we have put together a list of the 10 best products that you can use to treat cystic acne. Check the out below!

Top Picks
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Avarelle Acne Cover Patch
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Differin Gel Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
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Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
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Acne Free Oil-Free Acne Cleanser
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Differin Daily Deep Cleanser
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La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Acne Treatment
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Proactiv Emergency Blemish Relief
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PanOxyl Acne Creamy Wash
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KILLA Kit by ZitSticka
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Glytone Acne Treatment Spray
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Top 10 Cystic Acne Treatments To Try At Home

1. Avarelle Acne Cover Patch

Avarelle-Acne-Cover-Patch-Original

The Avarelle Acne Patch is made with hydrocolloid dressing, tea tree, and calendula oils that are extremely gentle on your skin and help to extract the gunk and clear zita. It contains Centella Asiatica (often referred to as Cica), a powerhouse of antioxidants that promotes healing. The patches come in different sizes and blend well with all skin tones. To make an informed decision before buying, you can check out this video.

Pros

  • Available in different sizes
  • Easy-peel design
  • Dust-free
  • Re-sealable packaging
  • Hydrocolloid technology
  • Drug-free
  • Sticks well
  • Works on all skin types

Cons

  • May not work on severe cystic acne.
Price at the time of publication: $8.49

2. Differin Gel Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

4.4
Acne Treatment Differin Gel Image: Differin

Dermatologists often prescribe retinoids for treating acne. If you want to try a similar OTC formulation, check out the Differin Gel. It contains 0.1% adapalene, a retinoid-like compound that has similar effects. It reduces inflammation, cleanses the skin pores, and restores the skin texture. You have to use it as a spot treatment in your morning or evening skin care routine.

Pros

  • FDA approved
  • Developed by dermatologists
  • Alcohol-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Water-based formula
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Reduces scarring
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $13.47

3. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

4.6
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser Image: Cetaphil

When you have cystic acne, you need to go easy on the facial cleanser and use a mild formula. The Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser cleanses your skin thoroughly without drying it. It is a low-lather formula that does not damage the natural moisture shield of your skin. This clinically proven product is suitable for normal, oily, and sensitive skin types.

Pros

  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Clinically-proven
  • Aluminum-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Mild
  • Non-irritating

Cons

  • Some users may not like the fragrance.
Price at the time of publication: $22.88

4. Acne Free Oil-Free Acne Cleanser

4.4
AcneFree Oil-Free Acne Cleanser Image: Acnefree

The Acne-Free Oil-Free Cleanser contains 2.5% advanced micronized benzoyl peroxide – an effective anti-acne ingredient. It clears and prevents blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and cystic acne. It contains ceramides that soothe inflammation and promote healing. The ceramides also help maintain the natural moisture barrier of the skin and keep your dehydrated skin moist.

Pros

  • Safe for face and body acne
  • Dermatologist recommended
  • Fragrance-free
  • Reduce blemishes

Cons

  • May dry out sensitive skin.
Price at the time of publication: $6.99

5. Differin Daily Deep Cleanser

4.4
Acne Face Wash with Benzoyl Peroxide by the makers of Differin Gel, Daily Deep Cleanser, Gentle Skin Care for Acne Prone Sensitive Skin, 4 oz Face Wash w/Benzoyl Peroxide Image: Differin

The Differin Daily Deep Cleanser is for those with sensitive skin. It contains 5% benzoyl peroxide that cleanses the skin thoroughly, reduces excess oil, and prevents further inflammation. It is less abrasive on your face and prevents redness and irritation.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Hydrating

Cons

  • Might not suit dry skin.
Price at the time of publication: $8.99

6. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Acne Treatment

4.4
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Spot Treatment Cream with Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment, Blemish Cream for Acne and Blackheads, Safe For Sensitive Skin 1.35 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Image: La Roche-posay

If you want visible results, this product claims to give it in just three days. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Acne Treatment is a widely used OTC product for acne control. It is an oil-free formula that contains micro-exfoliating LHA (Lipo-Hydroxy Acid) and benzoyl peroxide that go deep inside the skin pores and clear blackheads and whiteheads. It is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Dermatologist tested
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Non-drying
  • Fast absorbing
  • Oil-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Might cause mild irritation.
Price at the time of publication: $20.99

7. Proactiv Emergency Blemish Relief

This is an extremely effective spot-treatment for stubborn cystic acne. The Proactive Emergency Blemish Relief contains prescription-grade (5%) micro-crystal benzoyl peroxide. You have to apply a thin layer of the product to the affected area. It helps to absorb excess oil, clean the skin pore, reduce acne inflammation, and prevent blemishes. Click here to check out this YouTuber’s unbiased review.

Pros

  • Dermatologist tested
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin
  • Expensive for the quantity
Price at the time of publication: $22.0

8. PanOxyl Acne Creamy Wash

The active ingredient of this product is 4% benzoyl peroxide. It contains three emollients and four humectants to balance out the drying nature of benzoyl peroxide. The PanOxyl Acne Creamy Wash is gentle yet powerful that clears up existing acne quickly, controls oil production, and prevents new blemishes. It helps your skin shed dead cells and prevent clogging the pores.

Pros

  • pH-balanced
  • Non-irritating
  • Non-drying

Cons

  • Might not suit sensitive skin.
Price at the time of publication: $12.47

9. KILLA Kit by ZitSticka

This acne patch is unlike other hydrocolloid patches. The Killa Kit is meant for acne in its early stages. This hydrocolloid patch has a Microdart delivery system that helps deliver the ingredients to the zit to stop its progress. It contains salicylic acid, a potent acne-fighting ingredient, along with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and oligopeptide-76. These ingredients calm the zit and aid skin healing. Here’s a personal review video to help you get a better understanding of the product.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Dermatologist-backed

Cons

  • Expensive
Price at the time of publication: $29.0

10. Glytone Acne Treatment Spray

4.4
Glytone Acne Back & Chest Treatment Spray Image: Glytone

Got acne on your back and shoulders? This ingredient-driven acne treatment spray by Glyton can help. The formula contains salicylic acid that helps dissolve dirt and oil, along with benzoyl peroxide to kill the acne-causing bacteria and sulfur to absorb excess oil and clear the breakouts.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Oil-free

Cons

  • Expensive
Price at the time of publication: $42.0

Cystic acne is painful, and it can be quite a challenge. Before going to the dermatologist, you can try some OTC products to treat cystic acne at home. Depending on the severity of your acne breakouts, you need to choose a product that suits your requirements. The reviewed options in the curated list have a dermatologist-developed and hypoallergenic formula devoid of synthetic toxins. Based on your preference, you will find a pick from facial cleansers and sprays to acne patches. Besides ointments and other medications, you can use these products for the best results.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Shiboli Chakraborti, is a certified skin care coach and understands the hardships cystic acne can pose. She has compiled this list of the best cystic acne treatment products following extensive research of the treatment options available and an in-depth analysis of the reviews posted by users on multiple online forums. These mild over-the-counter products have non-irritating and non-comedogenic formulas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does cystic acne go away?

Cystic acne improves with proper treatment. You need to consult a doctor and follow the medications to get clear skin.

Which acid is the best for cystic acne?

Azelaic acid or salicylic acid is the best to get rid of cystic acne. They reduce dead skin cells and kill bad bacteria that cause acne.

Should I moisturize if I have cystic acne?

Yes, make sure to moisturize your skin if you have cystic acne. Moisturizing helps keep the skin soft and supple and maintains a healthy skin barrier.

Should I exfoliate if I have cystic acne?

Yes, gently exfoliate your skin to get rid of excess sebum and dead skin cells. Do not use rough exfoliators that can further accelerate the condition or cause excess redness and inflammation.

Is ice or heat better for cystic acne?

Both ice and heat may work wonders on cystic acne. Ice reduces the swelling while heat helps the pimples heal more quicker.

What should you not do with cystic acne?

Do not scrub your skin with rough products that may cause more irritation. Do not touch the cysts unnecessarily or pick at the blemishes.

Is retinol or benzoyl peroxide better for cystic acne?

Retinol is better than benzoyl peroxide when it comes to cystic acne. Retinol reduces inflammation, clears away bad bacteria, and minimizes bumps.

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